It’s crazy to believe that two months have already passed. Each and every week there’s always something to do. It never gets boring here in Korea, even if others disagree. Surprisingly, I actually enjoy the countryside here in Sinchang(신창). Many of the returnees think that the countryside is boring and not as exciting; However I find enjoyment out of the little things that I do here. Such things are like trying out different restaurants and hanging out with both my international and Korean friends. This past month, I’ve gotten closer to my friends and that allowed me to make friends with more folks from global village. I’ve made so many friends in the month of October and many crazy and fun things have happened during my stay here so far.
October 21st, my friends and I went to Seoul and visited Itaewon. Itaewon is an area in Seoul which is popular with foreigners. We went there because we were helping a friend out with buying more fashionable and “U.S” sized clothes (We also wanted to eat actual Latino Food). Itaewon wasn’t as amazing as most people make it out to be, and it’s not my favorite area in Seoul. We went to a Mexican restaurant, and the food was good! However, the restaurants in Itaewon are just like the restaurants back in America. Service takes a long time and the food amount is smaller than what you pay for. One reason why I wasn’t a big fan of Itaewon, because I’m so used to getting food quickly from Korean restaurants that the American style of service was disappointing.
We couldn’t find much in Itaewon, so later that day we went to Hongdae and then Ewha. I can’t believe that we managed to go to three different areas in Seoul and make it back to school in time. The thing I don’t like about here is that there are strict curfew times compared to the U.S. After a certain time, the doors close and will not open for students. That’s why there’s so many stories about people sneaking back into global village. Especially from the boys.
Ah! I completely forgot, but compared to the states, midterms are taken much more seriously here. During midterms week, all the Korean students would study rigorously in their rooms or at the libraries. My roommate would study up until 4am, and would spend most nights at the library. It’s crazy compared to Concordia back in Minnesota. I could care less about midterms in Minnesota, because I didn’t really feel stressed when I’d take tests. However, here because everyone is stressed, it also makes yourself feel stressed. But, I didn’t worry too much about midterms other than my Korean speaking test.
Last Wednesday, I participated in an event known as “Global Day”. It’s a small festival which consists of tents of different countries which are hosted by different international students. I wanted to represent Hmong culture, so both Lumena and I hosted our own tents. Surprisingly, we had a good amount of people interested in our tent and many of our friends came by to support as well. It was great seeing all my international friends in their traditional outfits and cooking their cultural foods. I had a lot of fun that day, and many people wanted to take pictures with me in my traditional (modern version) Hmong outfit. Global day was a fun day and I definitely will do another Hmong tent for next semester!